Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Decorative value of invasive plant species in Croatia.

Abstract

The research of invasive plant species was conducted in three regions of the Republic of Croatia (NW Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia) where a total of 36 invasive plant taxa with ornamental value were recorded. Out of a total of 36 taxa with decorative value, 29 of them were deliberately introduced into the territory of Croatia with the aim of cultivation. After some time, the cultivated plants escaped from cultivation and spontaneously began to grow in different habitats, and today we refer to such plants as "Planta hortifuga". A total of 20 plant families were recorded, and the most common family with 10 taxa is the Asteraceae family. In the area of all three regions, 12 common taxa were recorded. Nine taxa have been recorded exclusively in Dalmatia. In Slavonia, not a single taxon that can be included in the category of invasive allochthonous species has been recorded without being present in the other two regions, but in the area of northwestern Croatia, four plant taxa have been recorded that have not been recorded in any other part of Croatia. Plant species that most often originate from North America have spread to northwestern Croatia and Slavonia, while in Dalmatia we find invasive ornamental species that most often originate from South America and Mexico. Most plant species bloom during spring and summer, and the most common life forms are therophytes with 16 plant taxa, while the least common are hemiphytes and nanophanerophytes with two plant taxa. We conclude that due to the richness and diversity of ecological conditions, a large number of non-native species managed to "domesticate" in Croatia. Non-native flora is not always harmful, but invasive flora is a danger, so it is necessary to implement certain measures to preserve habitats, species and even biodiversity itself.